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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
This is the wrap-up video that brings all of the essential elements of Blender together into one final composite project. Here we have the Background Plate and we start with the background and it will shot in full HD and I wanted to use this Background Plate as a background image in my 3D view when I was setting up and modeling the scene, but dealing with HD on this PC was just a little bit too much for the poor little thing. So I first set up this Redux scene where I simply brought in the original Building Plate.mov from your Library, it's in your Library under Places, and simply did a 50% render of that out to this file called Building Plate_HD50.mov and I just used the full HD settings and just did it at 50%.
That just makes all the images a lot smaller and easier to manage and handle. So, once I had that, then I came over and I set up my 3D scene. As I said, I have modeled the set. I found that a Camera Lens size of about 22 gave me the proper proportion and to give me this 3D scene and here is the 3D background. I put the set on Layer 9 just for convenience. I put this shadow plane down here to collect the shadows from his feet and position some very small lamps above his feet and parented to them to the bone, so that as he walks he casts a shadow and that's actually fake Ambient Occlusion right there.
I could have used Ambient Occlusion I guess too, but I just use the lights to cast a little bit of a shadow and then I used the NLA sequence to sequence him moving and baked the cloth of his cape as he walks and then had him turn, tried to do a match move to the reference footage of me walking into the door. Then once I had that, then I constructed two render layers. One render layer was for the Captain, which is him walking. The other then is for the mask of the door opening and it only grabs this one.
So, once I did that, and remember to have everything selected so that the render layers would pass over, I created a compositing scene. Now I was ready to composite that mask in that animation over the Background Plate. So I'm going to go ahead and refresh and compute what Captain Knowledge looks like, recompute what the mask looks like and then we can start to walk through this compositing noodle. What I did is I have this mask that I want to use to black out Captain Knowledge when he walks through the door, but not when he is walking in front of the building.
So I determine that right here at frame 160 is when he is turning the corner and it's now time for him to walk behind the door and into the building and be covered by it. So, before frame 160 all I want to do is take Captain Knowledge and composite him just on top of the Background Plate. So, that's what this AlphaOver node does right here. All it does is it takes the Captain Knowledge and composites him right over it and feeds it to this Mixed node.
Since it's before 160, this Time node is putting out a 0 value, so the Mixed node picks the image from the top socket and passes that on to the Viewer. Then as the animation continues, we get into the situation where we want to start to use this mask and the mask, what I have done is I have taken this mask for let's say frame 250. For frame 250, I'm going to go ahead and press F12 or click on the Render button here. What has happened is that Captain Knowledge has already moved behind the door and so he's no longer seen anymore.
So what happens is I multiplied this mask, times Captain Knowledge's Alpha channel and come up with the result which in the case is all black, therefore it's all zero, so this multiplied node feeds out zero to this factor node which means that the Alpha Over node takes the image from the top socket and feeds it on into the Mixed node. So, effectively I'm just not using any part of this render anymore and I'm just filming the Background Plate.
It's just showing the Background Plate. That's how the compositing noodle then feeds everything out to result in the ultimate video that you see. So, now that we have completed this little mini project, the challenge to you, my student, is to take this file and tweak the actions, tweak the animations, make it a little bit smoother, make it a little better and improve on this asset we have given you to take it to the next level.
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